Let's see... Where to even start?
*Anybody Else Tired of Expansion Talk?
Twitter was a-twitter this afternoon with talk of Big Ten expansion that turned out to be all for naught. When it comes to the most hypothetical of hypothetical situations, today's rumor struck me as plausible:
- Missouri appears destined to leave at this point;
- Rutgers would give the conference a big television market;
- Notre Dame - duh;
- Tom Osborne despises the Big 12.
Blogger Clay Travis speculates that the Fightin' Irish would be the swing team in such a scenario, with the Big Ten trying to lure one more team to make 16 if ND joined up. If the Irish rebuffed the overtures, the conference would stick with 14 teams.
Peter Bean's crew at Burnt Orange Nation offers up a little inside information on how the Lone Star State dominoes could fall if the Big 12 gets raided.
As expected, any suitor for the coveted Longhorns should know that they come with strings -- or, more appropriately, a string -- attached: Texas A&M.
Where does that leave our beloved Sooners? I have no idea, and I definitely don't have any inside information.
What I do know is that OU should feel awfully uncomfortable if Nebraska and Mizzou take off for a bigger piece of fiscal pie. With the Big 12 on the ropes and the two Texas powers looking elsewhere, the Sooners better hop the SEC really wants to expand.
*Southern Cal Schadenfreude
Only conference jockeying could manage to push the USC drama to college football's back page. Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel says USC should learn its fate in the Reggie Bush-O.J. Mayo case this week.
With the latest revelation about Brian Cushing, it's tough to imagine the Trojan dynasty suffering a worse week. (Maybe we'll soon find out that Pete Carroll had Jason White's Gatorade bottle dosed in the 2005 Orange Bowl, a la that scene in The Basketball Diaries.)
Maybe the most surprising prediction as to USC's potential punishment came from Los Angeles Times writer Chris Dufresne, who contends that the NCAA will unleash some fury on the Trojans.
The kind of penalties Dufresne is suggesting would be downright vicious. Message board banter has presumably fallen along party lines -- those being 'SC homers versus everyone else not drinking the cardinal and gold Kool-Aid.
Anybody who would argue that there's not plenty of grave-dancing going on surrounding the Trojans' troubles understands less about human nature than the USC athletic department does about NCAA compliance. Still, unless USC has simply done a stellar job of playing its cards close to the vest, I don't see how the Association can afford to not come down hard the school. Otherwise, it's open season for agents and runners.